If you are new to the 52 Weeks to Creating Healthier Weight Loss Habits Series you can view the previous weeks here.
I have said many times that it is easier to eat healthy when you have healthy meals prepared ahead of time. In fact, that is pretty much what this entire blog is about. However, beyond the make ahead and freezer meal is the everyday foods your kitchen is stocked with.
Intentionally stocking your refrigerator, pantry, and freezer with nutritious foods provides healthier options when the craving for a snack or meal hits. Also, preparing quick healthy dinners or snacks becomes less of a hassle when you have nutritious ingredients at your fingertips. On the flip side, removing unhealthy foods will reduce temptations and minimize the chance of eating foods that hinder the weight loss progress.
Tips to Begin Stocking Your Kitchen With Healthy Foods and Snacks
Recognize your food weakness
List out the foods or snacks that are your absolute weakness. You know the ones I am talking about. For me, the culprit is Cheezits. Seriously, I can eat a box in one sitting – no joke. I have learned that I cannot even have these salty cheesy oh so yummy crackers in my presence.
Don’t get scared, because I am not saying chocolate, potato chips, cheezits, or other snacks should be eliminated from your menu plan. My point is, if you have a hard time resisting these foods and keeping the portions under control then, it may be in your best interest to limit your access – just sayin.
That sounds so serious, doesn’t it? Basically, what I am suggesting is to go through your kitchen and take a look at the foods you have readily available. What does the junk food situation look like? If you wanted to make a quick healthy meal using ingredients from the pantry could you do that? What are your healthy snack options? If you go into your kitchen right now what are your healthy options.
This initial scan will give you insight into what your current food situation looks like. It is kind of like the food overhaul concept I talked about with my weight loss journey a few months ago.
After the initial scan you will need to do a quick weekly scan. The purpose is to make sure you are making note of foods and ingredients you need to purchase this way your kitchen is always stocked with healthy items.
Now that you did the scan you can start to figure the foods you need to eliminate and the healthy foods you need to substitute in their place. It is not the goal for you to feel deprived. Deprivation only leads to wanting the bad foods more – at least that is how it works for me. It is about finding ways to enjoy healthier versions of foods you love..
Example List of Healthy Foods and Ingredients to Keep in Stock.
I put together a quick list of foods and ingredients I reccomend having in your kitchen. These items I try to have stocked in my kitchen regularly so healthy foods are always available. Of course, this list is just an example, there are many items you can add to it. In fact, please leave a comment with some healthy food and ingredients you always have in stock
Fruit of all kinds
Steel Cut Oats
Sugar (brown and white)
Pure Vanilla Extract
Whole Wheat Pasta (all types)
Rice Wine Vinegar
All kinds of spices
Besides my freezer meals and starters I always try to have bags of frozen vegetables.
Like I said these are just a few of the items I have stocked in my pantry, refriderator, and freezer. As you can see, just from this list, there are many healthy meals and snacks I can prepare. Also, don’t feel like you need to go out and purchase everything on the list. I should say that it took me time to create a healthy kitchen. Some things I did purchase right away but others like spices and speciality ingrediants I would by buy little by little.
The more prepared and equipped your kitchen is with healthier foods the easier it will be for you to achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle – trust me, I know.
1. Complete a kitchen scan. How many healthy meals and snacks could you prepare using the ingredients you have right now in your kitchen?
2. List out the unhealthy foods you found, write out some healthy subsitutes, and make sure they are on next weeks grocery list.
If you choose to do the action steps today, or previous weeks, please come back and leave a comment telling us about your experience. If you are a blogger leave a link if you are talking about this on your blog (please link back to the post/series) or if you have any comments or tips to offer please do so. We are all here to support and learn from one another.